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Buy a poppy in remembrance

Let us go back first of all to the years 1914 and 1918 when Canada was engaged in its first world war.

Nov. 6, 1952

Letter to the Editor: Buy a poppy in remembrance

Dear Sir: In a very few days the citizens of the Arrow Lakes will once more be asked to remember the dead of two world wars. By wearing a poppy and where possible in places of business, churches and schools and in the windows of homes and on the cars.

I know that in the minds of some people, the annual poppy campaign is placed in the same category as other charitable appeals, and the question is often asked, why should not the poppy fund, which is a campaign, be part of the community chest, which are many campaigns. I would indeed be grateful, Mr. Editor, for the further space necessary to answer this question.

Let us go back first of all to the years 1914 and 1918 when Canada was engaged in its first world war. There are names that I would like to bring to your memory out of that conflict. Do you remember Ypres, Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge, Saint Julien, the Somme? In World War Two we have Ortona, Falaise, Dieppe; any significance? Or have these names already faded from the consciousness of all but a few to whom they have a very personal meaning? If these names mean anything to you, then the poppy fund will be for you much more than just another charity drive!

The poppy campaign is two-fold in its purpose and the most important of these is the Legion’s self-imposed duty of ensuring that every Canadian wears a poppy, or displays a wreath on Remembrance Day, thereby participating in the act of remembrance and helping to call to the mind of every citizen the thought that the price of our freedom is sacrifice.

The struggle is still going on. Now [names] like Seoul and Pyongagang are being associated with our service men. Canadian men, [our] indomitable and courage, are still shedding their blood and giving their lives on foreign battle fields for one purpose alone.

For no matter how clouded the side issue might be, there can be no doubt that the only reason for making sacrifices of this magnitude is the preservation of the kind of freedom we enjoy in this country...

The blood red poppy of Flanders is immortalized as an emblem of sacrifice and remembrance for the honouring of the thousands who died in foreign lands, laying down their lives for those things which we as Canadians cherish. It speaks to us of sacrifice. It calls upon us to remember not only those who still suffer from honourable wounds and disabilities, it challenges us to serve in peace as in war: to help those who need our help, to protect those who need our protecting.

In purchasing your poppy we ask you to do so in that spirit.

Thanking you, Mr. Editor, for granting me this space in your paper. Very sincerely, E.F. Edgington